If You’re Indecisive, You’ll Want to Read This

something pop

Sometimes I struggle with making decisions. For many years, I even needed several opinions on what to wear each day before settling on an outfit. When it comes to bigger decisions? I pull out all the stops, creating pros vs. cons lists, surveying every friend/relative that I think won’t tell the other I already asked them, and struggling internally until I often just flip a coin to make the choice or collapse wondering how I will ever choooooooosssee. Picking an option, especially when it can have far reaching consequences in your life, can be hard. And finally, as apple products have trained me to think, there’s an app for that. In this case, it’s a free web tool created by Ben Gimpert. He’s calling it Something Pop, and it’s the result of a hobby (a pretty useful one, I might add). It’s motto is that it helps you make better decisions by making your priorities pop.

Basically how it works is that it quantifies everything that you list as important to the decision to provide a mathematical, objective outlay of which is the actual best decision, not just the decision you bullied your best friend into telling you was the right one. There are big categories already entered for you like, which job to take, which apartment to rent/buy, which city to move to, leaving academia, but then there is the more ambiguous choice of “something else” that you’re deciding, like which kind of couch to buy. I know I agonized over that choice this past summer.

Once you know the decision you have to make, you input your priorities. In the case of my couch, I was looking at color, price, softness, and removable cushions. You give each a percentage rating of how important it is to you. Then, step two is listing all the options available. There’s the couch at Macy’s, Jennifer Convertibles, and my dream Crate and Barrel couch. Each field has prompts in case you’re unsure of what to add.

Step three is to rank how your options stack up against the priorities you set on a D- through A+ scale. In my case, I would need to see if the color is right at Macy’s, but the price was WAY TOO HIGH at Crate and Barrel. Then they make you a chart that averages how your couch stacks up. Thought the Crate and Barrel couch was a dream come true, it got a D- on affordability (an important priority), and thus, ranked below the couch I actually ended up buying. It’s a list-maker’s dream. Input all the variables you want, and then look at how they rate. The charts don’t lie.

Airbags for Cyclists


Living in NYC, I see a ton of cyclists biking to work every morning, and home again every night. Since the launch of citibike, I have noticed even more. I see bikers do lots of risky things, like go the wrong way down one way streets, text while biking, and swerve in and out of traffic, but the most dangerous thing? Most of them don’t have helmets on.  I’m too scared to ride with traffic in a big city, so I only bike on the paths closed to car traffic, and I know that when I do that I always feel pretty nerdy putting on a helmet. It’s not the cutest look, and it really messes up your hair. But it seems pretty risky to go without one when there are so many hazards (I’m talking cab doors here) that can pop out of the crosswalk, into your bike lane, and toss you from your bicycle. If we’re being serious here, messed up hair is no good reason to skip it – my hair gets pretty tousled by the wind even when I walk to work sans helmet. That’s what purse sized fold-up brushes are for.

Now (in Europe at least), there is a solution for the vain cyclist that will protect the coif and the noggin in case of an accident. It’s called the Hövding device, and it’s an inflatable nylon collar that bikers can wear inconspicuously. It only pops open when it senses an accident, similar to the air bags in your car (the future is here, guys!). The device has been in development since 2005, and has tested simulations of all types of accidents from icy roads to being hit by a vehicle. When the accident occurs a tiny gas canister at the back of the collar pops the collar open into a full-coverage helmet in milliseconds. It even stays inflated for several seconds before deflating to cushion any additional impacts. It retails online for 399 euros (about $536), and is available in several colors and designs to make the collar even more fashionable. More expensive than your average helmet? Sure, but can you really put a price on staying safe, feeling cool, and having good hair? Currently it’s only available in Europe, so now you know what to buy on a souvenir on your next vacation!



A couple weeks ago, I started noticing the #100HappyDays hashtag popping up here and there. I didn’t think too much of it, since some people can be real hashtag abusers. But after it kept coming up, associated with special moments, I was curious. It turns out it’s not just an inane hashtag misuse, but a challenge- one that I actually really like the idea of. The home website asks you to simply be happy 100 days in a row, anticipating that most people will instantly think they can’t, or don’t have time (I mean, that’s practically a third of a year!). Instead of giving up before you begin, it challenges you to stop bragging about your packed calendar, and take a few moments each day for yourself to notice a happy moment – something 71% of people couldn’t manage to fit in. Then, you simply have to take a photo of the thing, person, sunshine that gave you that warm fuzzy feeling.

In our photo-happy times, this seems pretty easy, right? Everyone is taking pictures of everything, and posting them instantly to facebook/twitter/Instagram for the world to see. While there’s lots of negative things that could be said about this, #100HappyDays notes that this is not a competition, or a way to show off – if that’s the spirit of your photos, then you’re missing the point of the challenge. No one will know if you’re trying to make people jealous or cheating but you, but you’re the one who won’t be happier for it. The goal is to draw attention to the little things (using the social media platform of your choice), and practice daily gratitude to be in a better mood, be aware of what makes you happy, realize how lucky you are to live the life you lead, or to become more optimistic. If you choose, you can register on the website, and receive a little 100 page book that has all of your happy moments after you complete the challenge. Then, when you need a reminder of what’s good in your life, you can simply flip through your moments of happiness.

Take Time Off to Be More Successfull


Recent research I read about in t the April issue of Self magazine shows that the most successful people prioritize leisure time. This news comes as no surprise to me. I have always needed fun breaks since studying in college. If I didn’t go to that party Tuesday night, I was only distracted and annoyed when I tried to do work. It was much more productive to set aside a couple hours to finish the paper, then go to the party. It was a motivation to get it done with a reward in the not too distant future. This study, conducted by the University of Wester Sydney found that when people made time for fun activities, they were more productive at work, which helped them to earn more in the long run. So, next time you’re chaining yourself to your desk, think about it. Will you work as devotedly and efficiently when you’re missing book club with your friends, or will you procrastinate out of annoyance? It might make more sense to cut out for some quality time, and then use your renewed energy to tackle that project tomorrow when you’ve had your fun, and a ready to get down to business again.


I would love to own this beautiful Ted Baker rain coat for all of these April showers.
If you ever noticed those men who seemed, well, slightly older than college age lurking along the edges of the club in Acapulco – now you know who those adults crashing your spring break were.
As I enter my last year of my 20’s, I will spend my time half-seriously considering those living social botox deals, and then remembering that 30 is the new 20 for all of these fun reasons.
I have a pretty sensitive sense of smell, and I tend to associate certain smells with certain people or times in my life. I love the idea of these scents that represent the states in America.
One pretty funny blogger’s take on liking (and often not liking) your job.
Naturally Whitney Houston should be paired with a rose wine. Find out how music and drinks go together.
If you love music festivals, you’ll want to check out this list of which ones are going on, and when they’re happening.
Just when you thought you had enough to deal with, science has discovered 15 new emotions.

A Peek a Christmas Future


It’s Thursday, or as some people think of it, Thirsty Thursday- a pretty popular night to go out, and get a jump on the upcoming weekend. If you are looking for a good excuse to skip happy hour (other than your Netflix queue), check out the Drinking Mirror app. It will show you the future ruddiness, sagginess, and over-all blah-ness of your skin after years of alcohol consumption at your typical rate. This app offers you a look at Christmas Future, to see if that extra shot is really worth its consequences for your face!

In the Next Year


Today is my birthday. I have spent the day receiving cards and well wishes from friends and family who have taken me on a trip down memory lane, remembering all of the fun things we have done together through the years, and the past awesome ways we have celebrated together.

Last year I rang in another year of life by learning the flying trapeze, eating French vegetarian cuisine, and having the most wonderful happy hour at my favorite neighborhood bar complete with birthday hats, homemade doughnut holes, and the company of the best friends I could imagine. It was the perfect combination of learning new things, and enjoying my favorite everyday people and places. Gosh, it seems like so much longer than a year ago- a sure sign that I have done and accomplished a lot in the past 12 months!

This year, in the same spirit, I have a lot on my agenda. I have always enjoyed reading the lists of some of my favorite bloggers and how they spend their time in between the yearly milestones, so here are a few of the new/exciting/ordinary/bold things I have planned  before my next birthday rolls around.

  1. See the newest Cirque du Solei: Amaluna
  2. Eat Taco Bell Breakfast
  3. March in the Coney Island Mermaid Parade
  4. Attend a Huge Family Reunion
  5. Learn to fire a few different kinds of guns
  6. Find a flattering crop top and wear it in public
  7. Read/Watch Game of Thrones
  8. Go to Medieval Times
  9. Visit Chicago
  10. Camp on the beach
  11. Run a 10K
  12. Celebrate the marriages of two of my dearest friends
  13. Watch all the Die Hards
  14. Skydive
  15. Make homemade pickles
  16. Ring in the New Year at the Rose Parade
  17. Go to Coachella

Any suggestions of what else I should try this year?

An App to Fight Jet Lag


I never get tired of thinking, “There’s an app for that!” when I learn of a cool new feature I can download to my smartphone. The stuff we can do with just our cell phones these days, well, let’s just say it really beats walkmans, amirite?

There is nothing worse that going on vacation to a far away locale, and then becoming narcoleptic at all of the wrong times. I have experienced it first hand, falling asleep in the middle of evening barbecues in Hawaii, and being wide awake long into the night in Spain. Jet lag is such an annoying consequence of finally getting to visit that far flung country, especially when you only have a few days to enjoy it before you have to go home and go through the brutal time adjustment process all over again.

Well, friends,now  there’s an app for that! It’s called Entrain, and the friendly folks who created it used data from a University of Michigan study that sussed out how to beat jet lag by using timed sleep and light exposure to reset your body’s clock. All you have to do is input your home time zone, and the hours you are exposed to light and darkenss. Then you tell the app where you’re going, and if you’re travelling for business (read: will be stuck inside all day) or pleasure (and may be lounging on a beach). Then using the statistics from the study, it will give you an ideal schedule for what to wake up, go outside, and go to sleep along with an estimate of when you can expect to feel back to normal so you don’t have to be subjected to the WHEN WILL THIS FEELING ENDDDDDD stress of feeling all out of sorts. I will definitely be downloading it before my next international trip.

New Way to Beat Fear of the Dentist


I’ll just come right out and say it. I’m scared of the dentist. I can’t even go in for a cleaning without a few butterflies, and have been known to cry and grip the arms of the chair with white knuckles when I have anything like a filling done. And you know what? It’s a pretty common fear (up to 75% of people) – especially for people who have had unpleasant dental experiences in the past.

For me, having straight, pretty white teeth is more important than feeling a little uncomfortable, so I brave my twice yearly appointments even if that reclining chair always makes me sweat a little.

But, there are many people out there who skip the dentist altogether, or refuse to go when they have a tooth problem, and for all of them, there is a new solution on the horizon. It’s called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, and a study published in the European Journal of Oral Sciences found that it was effective in reducing fear of the dentist in most people after only three sessions. Basically, patients visualize their fear while a therapist guides their eye movements. It is all about teaching people to gain the courage to relax and say ahhh over the course of 90-minute sessions.